The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has removed Rwanda from the qualifying competition for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations amid a dispute over the fielding of a player using two identities.
Rwanda had been due to face reigning champion Nigeria, along with South Africa and Sudan, in qualifying Group A, but will now be replaced by Congo, the team it defeated in the last round of the preliminary competition. Congo had appealed to CAF over Rwanda’s use of forward Dady Birori, who plays for AS Vita Club in the Democratic Republic of Congo with a passport from the African country under the name of Etekiama Agiti Tady and with a different age.
CAF said: “Following investigations by CAF and on the basis of documents provided by the federations of Rwanda, Congo and DR Congo, and hearing the player's testimony on 11 August 2014 at CAF headquarters in Cairo, CAF established that the two identities only referred to a single person.
“While the Rwandan Football Federation (FERWAFA) maintained that to their knowledge the player Dady Birori had one identity, investigations revealed that he was summoned as Etekiama Agiti Tady by FERWAFA to join the national team of Rwanda.”
CAF has suspended the player from all club and national team matches “until further notice”, adding it could impose further sanctions at a meeting on September 17. The governing body of African football said that it “urged” players and stakeholders to regulate the situation of dual identity.
The 2015 Cup of Nations, African football’s showpiece national team tournament, takes place in Morocco from January 17 to February 8.